My honest review of books & other products

I love to read & I love to save money on good products for my family of six. Here, I'll share my thoughts on various books and other products in hopes it may help someone else!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The American Patriot's Almanac

The American Patriot's Almanac by William Bennett and John Cribb is a wonderful collection of historical moments, truly American inspirations, and slightly longer pieces of our history that every American should read.  It is an excellent book to read on a daily basis for the purpose of remembering the past and applying it to our present for our future.  It's a super resource for teaching kids important aspects of America and patriotism--to help them understand why they should love our nation.

It contains 365 brief, interesting selections--one for reading each day of the year.  These passages are short enough to share with older elementary aged kids through adults.  They are encouraging, inspiring, and cause the reader to be grateful to God and others!

Included in the book are important things every American should know or read--the Gettysburg address, the Emancipation Proclamation, The Constitution, etc.  There are poems by American poets, the lyrics to traditional, patriotic songs, and even America's top movies and quotes by Americans!  And a recurring theme throughout is the Christian heritage our forefathers established for us...something today's Americans too often forget!

I love this book and my kids do too.  I'm so excited to be able to share with them some of the unknown history that makes our nation great--and they love to hear it.  (My 6 year old often asks, "Can we read the America book now?"  ) 

Thanks, Thomas Nelson, for publishing this wonderful book and for sending to me to review!  One of my favorites!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids by Sarah Young

     This devotional book for kids is filled with a year's worth of devotions--one each day!  They are dated with the day of the year, but not the day of the week--so it can be used year after year (a great thing, in my opinion because God speaks to us in new ways from the same passage, many times!)
      The devotions contain a short scripture printed at the top and a one page message taken from the theme verse.  Scripture references follow for further study--a great thing for older children, especially!  I used the devotional book with my own four children and found the short verse and message appropriate for the kids aged five through ten (my three year old's attention span was much too short!)  I, as an adult, also really appreciated the messages and often found God speaking to my heart through them!
     The one thing I disliked about this book is that it is written from the first person--as if Jesus himself is speaking the words in the devotional thought.  This was really confusing for my kids, who kept asking if Jesus wrote this or said this.  It was difficult to explain that it was a woman who wrote it from the perspective of Jesus.  I ended up changing it to read from the third person point of view instead and this seemed to be much better understood (and I felt more comfortable with it, too, since they really are not the words of Jesus!)
     Overall, I enjoyed this book that Booksneeze sent to me to review!

Monday, September 20, 2010

William F. Buckley, by Jeremy Lott

Very interesting!  Lott follows the life of Buckley from childhood (briefly) through death.    I found the biography interesting and inspiring in some ways.  I didn't know much (any?) about William F. Buckley before reading this book.  I was inspired by his commitment to his faith (although this is a common theme throughout the book, it's not a very prominent theme, in my opinion.) and his beliefs--even in the face of opposition.  While his personal faith is not explored deeply--it is reflected in his willingness to voice truth even when it's not popular. 

I had hoped the book might be more in depth regarding Buckley's personal faith.  However, it focuses much on his political/ social views.  I do believe, however, that these are a reflection of his faith and one's political/social views are very much intertwined with one's faith, generally. 

Overall, I learned a lot about an interesting man and feel more inspired to speak the truth, myself, to those within my influence...even if it's not popular!